BRONTË SISTERS STRAWBERRY CUCUMBER BREAD

 

BRONTË SISTERS STRAWBERRY CUCUMBER BREAD

Strawberry Cucumber Bread.  Are you thinking the combination sounds a bit odd?  I thought so initially, but it’s a refreshing, slightly sweet combo.  I came across this recipe in the magazine bake FROM SCRATCH™.  I had the TV on while I was preparing this recipe and happened to hear a review on the new PBS series, To Walk Invisible: The Brontë Sisters.  Since both Wuthering Heights and Jane Eyre are two of my favorite books, I wondered, would this be the type of tea fare the sisters might have nibbled on while writing and sipping on a cup of tea or eat for breakfast on a cold Yorkshire morning?

Of course, I’m not sure what the sisters ate, but I am sure whether you do eat this for breakfast, or with an afternoon cup of tea, what you’ll find is a wonderfully light tasting treat where the dominant taste of strawberry melts away to the lighter fresh taste of cucumber.

Brontë Sisters Strawberry Cucumber Bread

A sweet tasting bread that’s ideal in the morning, afternoon or evening, this is a straight-forward recipe but I recommend you use a food processor to grate the cucumber and then make sure to wring dry the cucumber between paper towels to remove excess liquid. Use preserves as the recipe note -- using a jelly will not give you the right consistency, and if you prefer, you can buy clarified butter (Ghee) at the grocery store.

Ingredients

  • ½ cup 160 gram strawberry preserves

  • 1 tablespoon 8 grams cornstarch

  • 1 tablespoon 15 grams fresh lemon juice

  • ½ cup 113 grams clarified butter, room temperature

  • 1 cup 200 grams granulated sugar

  • 2 large eggs 100 grams, room temperature

  • 1 teaspoon 4 grams good vanilla extract

  • ¼ teaspoon 1 gram almond extract

  • 2 cups 250 grams all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon 5 grams baking powder

  • ½ teaspoon 2.5 grams baking soda

  • ½ teaspoon 1.5 grams kosher salt

  • 2 cups 250 grams grated, well-drained cucumber

  • ½ cup 57 grams chopped walnuts

  • ½ cup 85 grams sliced, fresh strawberries, divided

Instructions

  1. In a small saucepan add the strawberry preserves, cornstarch and lemon juice and heat over medium heat until slightly thickened, approximately 5 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.

  2. Preheat the oven to 325* F. Spray a 9x5-9nch loaf pan with baking spray with flour.

  3. In the bowl of a mixer with the paddle attachment, mix the clarified butter and sugar on medium speed for 3 – 4 minutes, then add one egg at a time. Scrape down the sides of the bowl thoroughly after each addition. Add the extracts and make sure everything is incorporated.

  4. In a bowl, combine the all-purpose flour, baking powder, baking soda and salt and whisk together. Slowly add the flour mixture to the butter mixture until just combined. Add the cucumber, walnuts, and ¼ cup of the strawberries.

  5. Spoon half the batter into the loaf pan then layer the strawberry preserve and top with the remaining batter. Arrange the remaining sliced strawberries on top and bake for 1 hour – 1:15 minutes or until a cake tester comes out clean. Let the bread cool in the pan for 10-minutes, then remove and let cool completely on a wire rack. Wrap and store at room temperature for up to 1 week.

Recipe Notes

Adapted from bake FROM SCRATCH